GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida was a different team from the
free-throw line Friday night.
Taurean Green scored 15 points, all from the line, and the
14th-ranked Gators overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Florida
The Gators (5-0), coming off a surprising tournament title in
the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, entered the game shooting a paltry
57 percent from the line. But they were 33-of-45 (73 percent)
against the Seminoles (2-1).
Green was 15-of-16 from the line, including 14-of-14 in the
"He was playing under pressure and he kept his poise,
especially from the free-throw line," Gators coach Billy Donovan
Florida State's top two players, Al Thornton and Alexander
Johnson, were in foul trouble much of the game, and Florida took
advantage with them on the bench.
"We had a lot of hard, checking fouls, reaching fouls,
over-the-back fouls," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
"We were not very disciplined."
The Gators trailed 40-32 early in the second half when Thornton
picked up his fourth foul. With Florida State's leading scorer and
most athletic player out of the game, the Gators evened the score
at 47 with 12:42 to play and then pulled away with a late 12-0 run.
"That was probably the best half of basketball we've played
Thornton, who was quicker, more aggressive and more physical
than any of the Gators, scored eight points in the first 5 minutes
of the game and carried the Seminoles (2-1) to a 10-0 lead. But he
picked up his second foul and spent the rest of the half on the
He picked up two more fouls in the opening minutes of the second
half. His fourth foul caused an emotional reaction from Hamilton.
He ripped off his suit jacket, threw it to the floor and then
kicked it under the bench.
The Seminoles weren't the same without Thornton.
"Once Al was out of the game, we had some young kids in
there," Hamilton said. "We were trying to find ourselves, get our
rotations down. We could never get into a rhythm. Next time, we'll
hopefully be a little more sound."
Making matters worse, Johnson joined Thornton on the bench about
a minute later. Johnson picked up his fourth foul with 14:47 to
play. The Gators put together their key run a short time later.
Thornton, who entered the game averaging, 21.5 points and 10
rebounds, finished with nine points and four boards.
Johnson, who came in averaging 14 points, fouled out with 4:46
remaining. He had three points and five rebounds.
Florida State led 21-4 midway through the first half, but the
Gators used two 3-pointers from Walter Hodge and an 11-0 spurt to
get back in the game.
"When we're not shooting well, we're going to have to step up
our defense, and that's what we did," Horford said.
The Gators shot 33 percent from the floor in the first half and
62.5 percent after the break, but won the game from the line.
"We feel like we made too many mistakes and gave them too many
fouls late in the game to win tonight," Thornton said.